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HARLEM, Manhattan — The pandemic has created an unprecedented health and economic crisis, exacerbating an ongoing crisis of food insecurity.

Police officers and firefighters helped distribute boxes of food this September 11 in Harlem.

NYPD officers from the 32nd precinct and firefighters from Engine 35 Ladder 14 Battalion 12 helped give out hundreds of boxes of food.

FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Marchbanks and Battalion Chief Fred C. Scheffold were lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

Harlem district leader Keith Lily says these firefighters and police offers wanted to be here to honor the memory of those lost but also help fight another calamity in their community, hunger during the pandemic.

“Them coming together here gives them hope and gives us hope. Food insecurity is real,” said Lily.

Joyce Johnson waited in line for food with her grandchildren.

“We really appreciate it. A lot of us lost our jobs,” said Johnson.

Johnson says police officers and firefighters at the event are heroes, during two difficult and unimaginable times, serving with courage and heart. T

he Migdol Foundation and Robin Hood Foundation helped make this event possible, feeding over 700 families. They plan on hosting more pop-up pantries within the next few weeks.